Over the last few years I have been met with a few challenges. One of which has been an unfortunate continual family strife amongst myself and my siblings. This has been a very stressful and sad ordeal that has left me feeling anxious and often times let down with myself and my family. My second struggle has been navigating being a single woman, able to feel secure, and doing actives alone. To be free to do what I want solo has not come easily. Initially my reasoning for getting coached by Jennifer was to help in losing some unwanted weight that I had felt was holding me back with my confidence. Throughout our coaching process I had so much more to learn and grow from than I realized.
In the beginning of our coaching we spent some time looking at the foods I was eating and why I made those food choices. I realized that there were things I was eating out of obligation such as: to either make others feel included, spare feelings, pressured by others, or simply because I refused to throw any food away. We found that I actually didn’t need or enjoy some of those food options that I was taking. By eating less I have more energy and in saying no I am more empowered. Through the coaching I learned to expand and open my world to healthier foods that I wouldn’t have normally tried. I now have the power to choose better foods but also give myself permission not to give up the foods that I enjoy.
As I worked with Jennifer it was only natural to delve into the other aspects of my life that needed attention. In some ways they were connected to the way I was eating. Learning to say no, standing up for myself, and not allowing myself to get bullied extended from the dinner table, to my family, and then to others. I now embrace that my thoughts and feelings deserve to be heard and protected. I am inspired to try new things, having fun with meeting new people, and activities with a sense of adventure that I have never had before. One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned from being coached by Jennifer is that the past hurts should be acknowledged, but afterwards to move forward with a more positive life. From childhood I’ve struggled to allow myself to accept complements. Through the coaching process I’ve learned to pat myself on the back for tasks well done and enjoy any complement. I’ve moved forward and am seeing the world with new light by having self-confidence to travel by myself and go to restaurants alone.
Jennifer has helped me learn to stay on track so I can stick to projects, and understand that with the right steps and encouragement, you can do anything. Her gentle accountability along with her natural understanding is exactly what I needed to have courage to make changes. Every week I looked forward to my next session to find out what new things were going to be uncovered and learned. Jennifer’s ability to coach in a way that is helpful while also being fun has made me never want to stop our sessions. But the best part of this whole program has definitely been how confident I feel not only in my own skin, but my choices and future.
I’ve worked with Jennifer for many years as a massage client where she has helped me immensely physically. We’ve had great conversations throughout our time that made it clear that she is a great listener that has always made me feel heard and comfortable. So when she told me that she was becoming a wellness coach it was no surprise to me that this would be a natural next step for her.
A little about myself: my whole life I’ve been a caregiver to everyone around me. As a single mom raising children, taking care of my very dependent mother, and demanding siblings, caregiving never seemed to have an end in sight. Even at work there has never been an end since many of my jobs have been working in the healthcare field. There’s always been a struggle to find time to take care of myself, and not taking care of myself has affected my physical and mental health over the years. I have some unwanted weight on my body and stress that has caused physical tightness that creates pain on a regular basis. It limits my ability to do certain activities, and causes trouble sleeping. Mentally I have always felt I am never doing enough. The anxiety of: “what will the next day bring?” and “how can I help everyone around me?”, are the thoughts that would consume me every day, all the time, and it was exhausting. I knew I wanted to change these things! I had tried in the past to help myself, but I never really seemed to find anything that could stick, or get to the source of my issues, and help me in the long run. So I was very interested when Jennifer approached me about wellness coaching and the possibilities it could bring in benefitting my overall health.
We started with some of the physical issues, such as losing some weight and reducing physical stress. Jennifer helped me realize that a lot of the times when I would eat I wasn’t really hungry at all. Through keen observation and tracking we were able to discover that most of the time when I would eat something that was particularly unhealthy; I wasn’t hungry, but rather emotionally hungry. I’ve been able to understand my physical cues for telling me when I’m actually hungry and then also slow down to listen to my emotions to know what I really ‘hunger’ for. I’ve learned activities that can “feed” me in healthy ways that aren’t consuming food. She also was able to creatively come up with easy ways to cut down on some of my regular food choices to make them healthier. But more than anything what I have learned from Jennifer is a healthier mental and emotional state of well-being that I have not experienced anywhere else. I’ve learned to monitor myself by editing my thoughts when I think I need to sacrifice myself to others. Instead my mantra is now to give to myself what I have always given to others: kindness and truth. I’ve been empowered to care for myself and understand that it is not selfish to look after myself. One of my biggest breakthroughs with Jennifer was understanding that from my past I had always been made to believe that because I am a woman, that I have to be a caregiver to all of those around me and sacrifice myself to the bitter end. Through our conversations, and tools that Jennifer has given me, such as positive self talk meditations, I have been able to break through that negative state of mind that I have had since I was a child. There is a balance between sympathy, empathy, and truth, and Jennifer helped me understand that.
I now have more self confidence and am empowered in my decisions to take care of myself by setting up healthy boundaries. Through the tears and laughing this has been a journey I had been needing to move forward in my life. Jennifers caring listening skills, and insights are spot on. Her patience and ability to have the right tools to work with a person right where they are at, have been amazing. My time with Jennifer was priceless and what I have learned and the ways I have grown as a woman will stay with me forever. Thank you so much!
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